Informatics

  1. I am interested in getting involved in clinical nursing informatics. Is there
    anyone on site that has worked for a vendor that can give me an idea what
    it is like-I know a lot of travel is involved, but do you stay in hotels all week, and come home on the weekend? Does the company pay for hotels and travel
    expenses? I was wondering how different people got started. Also, I was
    wondering how that experience compares with working at a hospital.

    Thanks!
    •  
  2. 19 Comments

  3. by   rninformatics
    Hi Sailor,

    First, "clinical nursing informatics" is not limited to practicing in the vendor world.
    Yes, depending on your position travel can makes up 80-90% of the job. If you are involved in the implementation or sales divisions of HIS vendor's you may be doing a great deal of traveling. It also just depends on the particular vendor - some employees leave out on a Sunday and are back home on a Thursday or Friday some do travel on weekends some don't, some stay at a particular location/site for anywhere from 2-6 weeks, some have been able to negotiate travel restrictions...such as they never travel on a weekend or they are not gone for more than 2 weeks out of a month ... it all depends on the vendor and the type of project you are working on.
    Additionally there are positions with vendor organizations that do NOT require travel.
    Related to travel reimbursement. Some vendors have a particular travel agency that they work with and flights, car rental, hotel reservations, etc are set up through that one agency; Some vendors have their own division/dept that handles all the travel arrangements; Some vendors have their employees pay for the travel with the employees personal credit card then reimburse the employee upon their return; Some vendors provide their employees with corporate credit cards for travel espenses.
    Some organizations utilize P.O.S - purchase orders - there are numerous ways this is handled - and again it all depends on the vendor/organization.

    Comparing working for a vendor and working for an acute care facility.......... check the board as I know there are a couple of previous posts that answer this question. Personally for me: PROS: Working for a vendor and the purks that come with it can be glamorous ...... for a while..... CONS: the constant travel and living out of a suitcase soon looses its luster. PROS: You have the opportunity to see cities and meet people you might never have met. CONS: As you have to establish and re-establish relationships and repoire with new groups of people to be as effective as possible this requires great people skills and the discipline to be constantly "on" - not to mention the "dog and pony shows" and "meeting and greeting" that is normally required of vendor folks. :chuckle

    PROS: Being employeed by an acute care facility where travel is minimal or nonexsistant allows me to establish and continue to build on working relationships. You get to know people - who you can depend on to follow through and who tends to drop the ball, etc.
    CONS: Sometimes familiarity breeds contempt
    Angela

    Quote from sailor444444
    I am interested in getting involved in clinical nursing informatics. Is there
    anyone on site that has worked for a vendor that can give me an idea what
    it is like-I know a lot of travel is involved, but do you stay in hotels all week, and come home on the weekend? Does the company pay for hotels and travel
    expenses? I was wondering how different people got started. Also, I was
    wondering how that experience compares with working at a hospital.

    Thanks!
    Last edit by rninformatics on Jul 16, '04 : Reason: typo
  4. by   sailor444444
    Angela,

    Thanks for the pros and cons on vendor vs hospital. That was helpful!

    Sailor444444
  5. by   Mariah
    Sailor - you were in the other posts on vendors as well. If I understand, you have a BS in computer science. Vendors have a lot of different jobs. There are field jobs and factory jobs. The field jobs do installations, training, sales. They are the ones that do a great deal of traveling. In the factory positions, the traveling is significantly less. We have/had nurses in the following positions at one time or another (1) product management - determines the requirements for the products per release. Travels much. MBA prefered (2) Learning products - responsible for developing training programs, user documents, training customers at beta sites. Travels much less than marketing and field. Maybe a trip every 2 months. (3) Testing - engineers with clinical backgrounds write test plans and test the product to ensure quality and FDA safety. No travel at all (4) R&D - engineers software development. Hardly any travel, can vary with position 4 to 1 time a year. (5) Product marketing - prepares sales tools and supports the sale staff. Some travel, but not as much as the field.
  6. by   rninformatics
    You are welcome Sailor44444

    The edited e-mail came across my virtual desk today and I thought of you and others who have asked me "what do vendor's look for in candidates" or "what type of positions are available" in healthcare/nursing informatics. See below, this e-mail came to me from a recruiter.
    ----------------------
    Hi, my name is XXXX XXXXX I am a Corporate Recruiter for XXXXXXX, Inc.
    I found your information while conducting a search on
    the web. I am looking for referrals for the below openings and would appreciate any referrals/recommendations you could offer.


    McKesson Meds Manager Consultant
    McKesson Horizon Clinical Consultant
    Siemen Soarian Consultant
    Siemen Star Consultant
    Clinical Educator
    Nurse Educator
    Physician Educator

    At XXXXXX we are committed to providing our clients with experienced, knowledgeable consultants. We offer a unique culture that encourages team collaboration and your professional development. Our size is such that we don't
    "pigeon-hole" our associates; instead we expect flexibility and the desire to broaden your skill base and knowledge. We are looking for clinicians (Physicians, Nurses, Pharmacists, Radiologists, Lab Technicians, etc.) who have
    project management, implementation, and/or training experience with clinical information systems.

    Successful candidates will have a thorough knowledge of healthcare operations and principles. Candidates must be willing to travel extensively (80 %+ nationally), be computer literate, and exhibit excellent speaking and writing skills. Candidates must be results oriented, service oriented, self directed, and personable.

    Please feel free to give me a call at to discuss. If you would prefer to respond via email with a contact number, I would be happy to give you a call at your convenience.


    Quote from sailor444444
    Angela,

    Thanks for the pros and cons on vendor vs hospital. That was helpful!

    Sailor444444
  7. by   sailor444444
    Corporate Recruitor,

    Thanks for the information about vendors! I noticed that you have a requirement of people should have experience in clinical informatics-a lot of other hiring companies have the same requirement. Do you ever hire people that have only experience working in a hospital as a floor nurse? I have a bachelor's degree in computer science and also an associate degree in nursing, but no clinical informatics job experience. Do you have any suggestions on how one would get the clinical informatics experience?

    Sailor
  8. by   Mariah
    Sailor
    Good luck on your search. Vendors have positions in the field called "Clinical Specialist", "Consultant", "Eduator" or "Application Specialist" or something like that that requires them to be a clinician. These are the positions that travel in the field organization. They also write documentation/training at the factory (main office). Most informatics nurses with only nursing degrees are limited to these clinician positions or the management of these positions. Unless they have a great deal of informatics experience or have worked up the management chain, they do not have the opportunity for other positions in the vendor organization such as analyst. Most other positions greatly prefer technical degrees, technical writing degrees, or MBAs. Because of your BSCS, you have more vendor opportunities than the usual informatics nurse. An informatics nurse with technical degree is very very rare. Just to make you aware that your situation is somewhat unique and your opportunities are broader than most in some areas, from a vendor perspective. But working as clinician in the field can be exciting and rewarding. Many have enjoyed it and have dedicated many years in helping others install their systems and getting them to work at their peak capabilities.
    Last edit by Mariah on Jun 15, '04
  9. by   msdeeva
    Hi Mariah,

    When you speak of technical degrees, does this include the MSN Informatics degrees that are popping up?

    Quote from Mariah
    Sailor
    Good luck on your search. Vendors have positions in the field called "Clinical Specialist", "Consultant", "Eduator" or "Application Specialist" or something like that that requires them to be a clinician. These are the positions that travel in the field organization. They also write documentation/training at the factory (main office). Most informatics nurses with only nursing degrees are limited to these positions or the management of these positions. Unless they have a great deal of informatics experience or have worked up the management chain, they do not have the opportunity for other positions in the vendor organization. Most other positions greatly prefer technical degrees, technical writing degrees, or MBAs. Because of your BSCS, you have more vendor opportunities than the usual informatics nurse. An informatics nurse with technical degree is very very rare. Just to make you aware that your situation is somewhat unique and your opportunities are broader than most in some areas, from a vendor perspective. But working as clinician in the field can be exciting and rewarding. Many have enjoyed it and have dedicated many years in helping others install their systems and getting them to work at their peak capabilities.
  10. by   Mariah
    MsDeeva - a technical degree such as a degree in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or management information systems. A MSN in informatics is a nursing degree with a technical focus, but is not considered a technical degree. I hope this helps.
  11. by   msdeeva
    Thanks Mariah,

    I had another question. I'm just getting into informatics (learning about the field), so when you say Nurses with a nursing degree (including the one I have mentioned), will not be qualified for an Analyst position without years of experience as an informaticist or a technical degree does this include the following job title and description?:

    Implementation Analyst
    "Implementation Analyst, IDX Care Manager or LastWord 4.1.8. CPOE Application. User oriented RN preferred but will accept strong clinical skills. 4-6 month contract position in Southern California."

    Thanks for your response.

    -Tiff

    Quote from Mariah
    MsDeeva - a technical degree such as a degree in computer science, computer engineering, information systems, or management information systems. A MSN in informatics is a nursing degree with a technical focus, but is not considered a technical degree. I hope this helps.
  12. by   Mariah
    MsDeeva. I can not be sure exactly what they are looking for and what the position involves as I am not familar with the add or IDX. I would assume that it would prefer informatics experience because it is a CPOE system. It is a position that requires a RN, so it is probably more of the field positions where nurses are involved with customers to install systems, train, etc. Since it is an RN position, a technical degree is not required. Although they call it analyst, it is seems to be the same type of field position as Educator, Application specialist, Consultant.... But as I said, this is just a guestimate. These terms get thrown all around and they can mean a lot of different things. What I mean by analyst is someone who works within the factory and is involved directly in the design process of the product.
  13. by   msdeeva
    Thanks Mariah for the explanation. That makes perfect sense.

    Quote from Mariah
    MsDeeva. I can not be sure exactly what they are looking for and what the position involves as I am not familar with the add or IDX. I would assume that it would prefer informatics experience because it is a CPOE system. It is a position that requires a RN, so it is probably more of the field positions where nurses are involved with customers to install systems, train, etc. Since it is an RN position, a technical degree is not required. Although they call it analyst, it is seems to be the same type of field position as Educator, Application specialist, Consultant.... But as I said, this is just a guestimate. These terms get thrown all around and they can mean a lot of different things. What I mean by analyst is someone who works within the factory and is involved directly in the design process of the product.
  14. by   rninformatics
    whether or not an RN (who does not hold a technical degree) is qualified for an "analyst" position depends on what is required by the hiring organization. The term "analyst" can be used interchangably by both vendors and hospital IS depts. This particular ad appears to be looking for an RN to configure the system at the site after the system has been purchased from the vendor. Part of working in informatics/healthcare I.S. is learning the language............ but dont get hung up on some of the terms as you could ask a room full of IS people what one term ment and each one would have a slightly different definition. This is common to some extent.

    You may be getting thown off by the terms - "factory", "field", "analyst" - dont be as these terms are sometimes used interchangeably or depending on the vendor, hospital IS dept or even the generation you come from have slightly different meaning(s). Your best bet is to find out from the recruiter or hiring organization exactly what is required and what the position entails - as different organizations have different requirements.


    Quote from msdeeva
    Thanks Mariah,

    I had another question. I'm just getting into informatics (learning about the field), so when you say Nurses with a nursing degree (including the one I have mentioned), will not be qualified for an Analyst position without years of experience as an informaticist or a technical degree does this include the following job title and description?:

    Implementation Analyst
    "Implementation Analyst, IDX Care Manager or LastWord 4.1.8. CPOE Application. User oriented RN preferred but will accept strong clinical skills. 4-6 month contract position in Southern California."

    Thanks for your response.

    -Tiff

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